7 Mistakes All Rookie Bikers Make

Dirt-biking can either leave you feeling exhilarated or exasperated and it’s all down to the way you ride. No one wants to see their day ruined by a few simple errors in judgement, so learning how to do things properly is the key to staying focused and staying safe. Everyone is a beginner once, but until you’ve mastered these basic steps, you’re going to be stuck in the slow lane.

1. Check Your Fuel

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, you’d be surprised at the number of times people forget to fill up their tank. Dirt bikes use up fuel at different rates depending on the terrain you’re riding on and how hard you push them. Always top up your bike after a long ride – you might think you’re set for another day on the road, but you can never be sure what’s lying ahead. Stay safe and keep your engine well fed.

2. Don’t Go Full Throttle Too Soon

One thing you’ll learn about dirt bikes is that they can accelerate like nothing else – a fact that many beginners overlook. The balance between the throttle and the clutch can be a tricky one to workout at first, so don’t go thinking you’ve mastered it before you’ve built up any speed. This is when things start to go wrong…quickly. Take the bike through a few practise laps, slowly increasing the speed each time. Once you feel settled, you can begin playing with the clutch and shifting gears when the need arises.

3. Avoid Showing Off

You’re riding with your mates. A big corner comes up and you round it like a pro. You can hear your friends cheering, so you look behind and flash a boastful smile. The next thing you know you’re lying flat on your back at the base of a tree. Although it can be tempting to admire your own skill, dirt biking is all about anticipating the next move – something you can’t do if you’re looking the other way. It’s always great fun to talk about the time you landed an outrageous jump, but save the chat for a point after you’ve finished riding.

4. Always Look Where You’re Going

This ties in nicely with the last point. On a dirt bike, everything important will be happening in front of you. The speed of the bike means that one momentary lapse in concentration can send you hurtling off the track. In the beginning it can be difficult to stop yourself looking down, as you’ll want to check your hands are doing the right thing. Getting past this is one of the fundamental lessons of biking, as where your eyes go your body tends to follow. Looking where you’re going will help direct your bike evenly into the corners.

5. Make Sure Your Helmet Is Secure

It’s obviously vital that your helmet remains securely on your head, but what I’m referring to in this instance is where you put it when you’re not riding. With so many other things to think about, it can be easy to just cast your helmet aside when you take a break. This is all well and good on a flat piece of land, but wherever there’s a hill there’s a chance of your gear rolling away. The best place for your helmet to perch is either on your handlebars or footpegs, as believe me, running flat out after it through the mountains is not the thrill you’re looking for.

6. Perfect Your Balance

Many people fail to take the weight of the bike into account when they are starting out, meaning they are never fully steady. At first, you might need to practise taking off at slower speeds, until you feel comfortable with your positioning. Crawl into a few corners +and get used to the balance between your bulk and the bike’s, before you head out onto the track.

7. Don’t Forget To Enjoy Yourself

The cardinal sin of so many debut bikers. If you are too focused on nailing the ride within the first couple of minutes, you’ll miss the opportunity to just have fun. We all want to feel like a pro, but, just like with any other sport, dirt biking takes patience and dedication. So grab your gear, jump on your bike and start on down the road to motor cycling bliss.

Author Bio: Ed Wild is a motorcycle enthusiast, writer, and the founder of Redtread, a motorcycle holiday provider in Andalucia, Spain.

Speak Your Mind